Congratulations to GC Distinguished Professor Joseph Straus, who has been awarded the 2020 Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory!
This year’s Wallace Berry Award honors a book that is breathtaking in its ambition, scope, and achievement. Drawing on multiple tropes of disability representation, this book explores the conditions by which modernist music reflects and shapes the history and culture of disability. The author probes the ways in which normalizing and disablist music theory respond to familiar questions about the function of music analysis, questions that may be asked not only about modernist music, but also of other musical repertoires. A conceptual framework of contrasting narratives of disability illuminates the shattering of conventions and establishment of new kinds of beauty characteristic of modernist music. The 2020 Wallace Berry Award goes to Joseph Straus for Broken Beauty: Musical Modernism and the Representation of Disability, published by Oxford University Press.